Did you know that there are 1440 minutes in a day? I’d never really thought of it much before, until I realised I needed to start spending some time on myself. Just 10 of those 1440 minutes a day was all I really needed to take care of myself, but I used to feel guilty about taking that time out of ‘being a mum’. I’m not going to lie to you all; I seriously put self-care at the bottom of the priority list once Harris was born. Pre-baby I would eat fairly well, fake tan frequently, paint my nails every couple of days and de-fuzz all over every week. However, I became a very different person post-baby – a person with a lot less time who spent every waking moment attached to her baby, and when he slept I slept too (most people do tell you this is the best way to beat sleep deprivation though, don’t they?).
I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wasn’t feeding Harris – whole packets of biscuits became the norm at breakfast time; I stopped fake tanning pretty much altogether; my nails were always bare and I had legs like a gorilla. Not to mention the fact I would go days on end without washing my hair and, dare I mention, forgetting to brush my teeth on the odd occasion! For some reason I felt like since I was a mum I wasn’t allowed to take the time to be the way I was before.
When Harris was eight months old we moved back to be with our family who would be able to help us with childcare once I returned to work, and I was SO excited at the prospect of having time to be the old me again. I felt like I wasn’t Stacey anymore. I was just Harris’ mum, and I wanted to change that. We’ve been back home for over 6 months now, and I can honestly say I feel like myself again. Now I know that ten minutes doesn’t sound like much, but I also know some of you will be thinking how you don’t have ten seconds to spare never mind ten whole minutes, but self-care is so important for your mental wellbeing.
Here are just some of the things I spend MY ten minutes on:
utilise the jumperoo (aka “The Circle of Neglect”) for ten minutes to make and drink a nice hot cuppa, then do it! Don’t feel guilty about using the TV babysitter so you can pluck your eyebrows in peace; and definitely don’t feel bad about letting your little roam around the bathroom floor while you have a quick shower (providing you’ve moved all hazards out of reach, of course – Harris has been known to keep himself occupied with some sanitary towels and a hairbrush while I wash my hair). I don’t think the phrase “happy mum, happy baby” has ever rang more true. Look after yourself mama, and take ten, because you deserve it.
Stacey and Harris